Book Party: Yesenia Montilla's Muse Found in a Colonized Body

Friday, October 21, 2022 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
2113 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10032



Join us for the launch of Yesenia Montilla’s Muse Found in a Colonized Body at Word Up with special guests Aracelis Girmay, Roberto Carlos Garcia, Sheila Maldonado, and Kathy Engel

This event is a $5 suggested donation ticket with 30 max attendees. Please register in advance. This event is limited to 30 people max. 

In compliance with Word Up Community Safety guidelines, all attendees for this event must show proof of vaccination and and must remain masked at all times. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the event so we can check vaccination cards and ID. 

Word Up Community Bookshop is located at 2113 Amsterdam Ave. (& 165th St.) in Washington Heights, NYC. You can take the 1 train to 168th St and the A/C train to 163rd or 168th  St.


In the book's eponymous poem, Yesenia Montilla writes, “How do you not love yourself when you / constantly survive your undoing just by being precious?" Muse Found in a Colonized Body answers this rhetorical question by populating itself with poems that range far and wide in content — observing pop culture, interrogating history, resisting contemporary injustice — but that share the spinal cord of unflinching love. As Rachel Eliza Griffiths notes, Montilla’s “powers orbit and intuit the lives of Philando Castile, Captain America, Christian Cooper, Karl Marx, Ahmaud Arbery, Eartha Kitt, and many more while stitching our wounded identities, memories, and histories in defiant poems of revision and joyous reclamation.” The vertebral odes of this collection at turns uplift desire, affirm life, celebrate protest, and condemn the violent greed of imperial usurpation that has produced the U.S. as we know it. Both in its criticism and its admiration, Muse Found in a Colonized Body calls upon its readers to rise to the occasion of these lyrics’ profound care.


Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina poet & a daughter of immigrants. She received her MFA from Drew University in Poetry & Poetry in translation. She is CantoMundo graduate fellow and a 2020 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow. Her work has been published in Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast and in Best of American Poetry. Her first collection The Pink Box is published by Willow Books & was longlisted for a PEN award. Her second collection Muse Found in a Colonized Body is forthcoming from Four Way Books, 2022. She lives in Harlem, NY. Find her at 

Word Up Community Safety Guidelines

  • All children and adults ages 5 and older are required to have proof of vaccination for indoor events hosted by Word Up Community Bookshop. They must show proof they have received two vaccine doses, except for those who have received the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • People 18 and older are also required to show identification along with their proof of vaccination.
  • All attendees ages 2 and older must wear a mask at all times when indoors at the store and during events at Word Up and Recirculation.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Word Up Community Bookshop reserves the right to cancel events for any reason, including but not limited to safety concerns.

CODE OF CONDUCT: Please note Word Up has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during any event, virtual or in-person. Please read our Safe Space Policy for more information. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from the event at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to immediately.

PHOTOS & RECORDING: Events may be recorded, and video and photos may be posted on our website, social media, and elsewhere. If you would prefer not to be visible, please let a Word Up team member know. 

PRIVACY: Registrants will be added to the Word Up mailing list. Your contact information will never be shared or sold. You may unsubscribe or update your subscription at any time.

PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY: Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria is a fully wheelchair-accessible space with one ADA-compliant ramp from the street level to the store. Some of our bookcases and tables are on wheels and can be moved to provide additional access. Our visitor bathroom is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral. Our events are mic'd for sound. Free ASL interpretation is available for most programs upon request; please email to request interpretation as early as possible. The space is not scent or chemical free but we do our best to minimize the use of chemicals and scents throughout the space and use nontoxic materials whenever possible. If you have specific questions about the space or how an event can be made more accessible to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Muse Found in a Colonized Body (Stahlecker Selections) By Yesenia Montilla Cover Image
ISBN: 9781954245327
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Four Way Books - September 15th, 2022

The Pink Box (Willow Books Emerging Poets & Writers) By Yesenia Montilla, Randall Horton (Editor) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780996139076
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aquarius Press - October 1st, 2015

Pre-Order Now Badge
So We Can Know: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth By Aracelis Girmay (Editor) Cover Image
By Aracelis Girmay (Editor)
ISBN: 9781642598391
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Haymarket Books - February 7th, 2023

[elegies] By Roberto Carlos Garcia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953447920
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flowersong Press - December 2nd, 2020

that's what you get By Sheila Maldonado Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936767595
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Brooklyn Arts Press - February 1st, 2021

Banana By Kathy Engel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781973892137
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - July 28th, 2017